See the Heartwood website for registration, schedule and other information.
Please join us for the 21st annual Heartwood Forest Council, to be held at Camp Ahistadi over Memorial Day weekend! Our theme will be “Energy!” and we will focus on energy-based threats to our region’s forests and communities: mountaintop removal coal mining, industrial-scale biomass burning for electricity, and hydrofracking for natural gas. We will also highlight the positive “energy” in the region that is working to move us away from these destructive sources of power and toward more sustainable lives and communities. The program will consist of 3 days of workshops, discussions, keynote speakers, and field trips – interspersed with ample social time, leisure, lively local music, dancing, and great food.
Camp Ahistadi – Cherokee for “the very best of all” – is located in the Cherokee National Forest, near the Virginia-Tennessee border. Laurel Creek runs through the camp, along with several hiking trails. Nearby Damascus, Virginia, is a popular stop along the Appalachian Trail, and Mt. Rogers, the highest point in Virginia, is a short drive away.
We have partnered with an exciting group of organizations to host a great weekend: Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS), The Clinch Coalition, The Alliance for Appalachia, Dogwood Alliance,Mountain Justice, and Wild South. In addition, SouthWings will provide flyovers to present a more complete view of the destruction of mountaintop removal in southwest Virginia.
The Forest Council will be family friendly – kids of all ages are encouraged to attend. As always, this year’s Forest Council will feature great food, lovingly prepared by chefs Shane McElwee and Jessica Nalbone and their kitchen magicians, using the best possible fresh, local, and organic ingredients; live local music and dancing; the always-entertaining Heartwood benefit auction; and the death-defying Heartwood Talent Show.
It is the personal and organizational connections we make and renew at the Heartwood Forest Council each year that are the heart of the Heartwood network. We hope to see you there.